State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald told lawmakers this week that the agency plans to consolidate its 11 regions of the state into six in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins April 1. Each region has a central office and multiple residencies for operations staff and equipment. The residencies would not be affected by the consolidation, she said.
“We can consolidate how we do engineering and planning, right of way acquisition, environmental review to maximize those resources,” she said after speaking at a public hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County, said in a statement today that she is concerned the Binghamton area could lose its regional office.
“I understand the governor wants government to be more efficient, but we need make sure the Southern Tier isn’t negatively affected,” said Lupardo, a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee.
The DOT’s Region 9 is headquartered at the Binghamton State Office Building and covers seven counties: Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Tioga.
“The DOT regional office is critical to our ongoing flood recovery,” Lupardo said, referring to Tropical Storm Lee last September. “They are also managing vital infrastructure projects, such as the I-86 conversion. I want to make sure that DOT consolidation plans do not delay repairs to roads, bridges and other critical work. I’m also concerned about our workforce. We can’t afford to lose jobs at this point in our local economic recovery.”